One might be forgiven for thinking that, as a boy, Doug Comer had little chance of becoming one of the world’s premier experts in computer networks and a renowned university teacher.
The son of a welder father and an elementary school teacher mother, Comer grew up in farm country, near the town of Vineland in southern New Jersey, in a family where “having an education” meant graduating high school.
But Comer possessed a native curiosity about the mechanics of things that, combined with inspiring high school classes in physics and mathematics, gave birth to an early and abiding passion for math and science.
“I liked to see how things worked,” he said in a video interview. “I wanted to know what was inside, what made them tick.”
His curiosity led to simple carpentry and basic machinery, then quickly evolved into an interest in electronics.
“You know, it was the typical blue collar stuff, and it was fun,” Comer said.
“By the time I got to high school I had sort of understood electricity -- how to wire up lamps and do house wiring and things like that.
“My parents didn't have a lot of money so I didn't buy a lot of...
Sugaru Yamaguchi’s fingerprints are all over the web, all over the world.
Inducted posthumously to the Internet Hall of Fame in 2019, Yamaguchi was a founding member of WIDE Project, or the Widely Integrated Distributed Environment, which established Japan’s first Internet backbone in 1988. He also played a key role in the creation of both the Asia Pacific Emergency Response Team, a regional cooperative forum for cybersecurity teams, and AfricaCERT, African Forum of Computer Emergency Response Teams.
Yamaguchi died in 2016. In a recent video interview, his son, Rui Takita, said his father taught him the importance of persistence through his work.
“He showed me that if he believes something can happen, he is going to achieve it some day,” he said.
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, is a digital librarian with a mission to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” An entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, and inductee to the inaugural Internet Hall of Fame, Kahle invented the first Internet publishing system and helped put newspapers and publishers online in the 1990s.
In a recent interview, Kahle discussed how he feels about digital privacy, the future of content distribution and compensation, and why the preservation and access to historical content is a matter of paramount...
The roles Dan Lynch has adopted throughout his journey to help develop the commercial Internet have spanned from government scientist to Internet evangelist to startup founder. But in order to understand that arc, you first have to understand who he was as a kid.
“I was a pretty good student,” Lynch says today. “I got mostly As. Except in deportment and conduct.”
Lynch's statement underplays his substantial intellect (he once dreamed how to calculate the interior space of a Chinese lantern--and got the math right). And his conduct problems don't reflect tension with peers -- he just didn't think authorities were always right. He liked to do things his way, or at least try. It’s a theme you often hear from technology leaders and luminaries, and one that likely helped secure Lynch a position in the 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductee class for playing a key role in driving global adoption of TCP/IP protocols and fueling the Internet’s commercial success.
As you get to know Dan Lynch, what emerges is the rare and right individual who could grok complexity, grasp possibility, and navigate the human personalities necessary to...
Email was one of the most vital technologies to emerge from the 1970s. Electronic mail or “network mail” as it was known at the time, was invented by Raymond Tomlinson, a member of the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
Versions of email actually predate the Internet, but they weren’t able to travel far. The first example of email was a program called MAILBOX which was developed at MIT in the early 1960s for people who were a few hundred feet apart.
The first host-to-host connection of the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet, occurred in 1969 and three years later emails were able to travel across the Internet.
Gizmodo highlights the history of email, what it looked like and how it was used 40 years ago, when it first began.